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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-907
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-907
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 18 Oct 2018

Research article | 18 Oct 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Analysis of atmospheric CH4 in Canadian Arctic and estimation of the regional CH4 fluxes

Misa Ishizawa1, Douglas Chan1, Doug Worthy1, Elton Chan1, Felix Vogel1, and Shamil Maksyutov2 Misa Ishizawa et al.
  • 1Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, M3H 5T4, Canada
  • 2National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, 305-8506, Japan

Abstract. The Canadian Arctic has the potential for enhanced atmospheric methane (CH4) source regions as a response to the ongoing global warming. Current bottom-up and top-down estimates of the regional CH4 flux range widely. This study analyses the recent observations of atmospheric CH4 from five arctic monitoring sites and presents estimates of the regional CH4 fluxes for 2012–2015. The observational data reveal sizeable synoptic summertime enhancements in the atmospheric CH4 that are clearly distinguishable from background variations, which indicate strong regional fluxes (mainly wetland and biomass burning CH4 emissions) around Behchoko and Inuvik in the western Canadian Arctic. Multiple regional Bayesian inversion modelling systems are applied to estimate fluxes for the entire Canadian Arctic and show relatively robust results in amplitude and temporal variations even across different transport models, prior fluxes and sub-region masking. The estimated mean total CH4 annual flux for the Canadian Arctic is 1.8±0.6TgCH4yr−1. The flux estimate in this study is partitioned into biomass burning, 0.3±0.1TgCH4yr−1, and the remaining natural (wetland) flux 1.5±0.5TgCH4yr−1. The estimated summertime natural CH4 fluxes show clear inter-annual variability that is positively correlated with surface temperature anomalies. This indicates that the hot summer weather conditions stimulate the wetland CH4 emissions. More data and analysis are required to statistically characterise the dependence of regional CH4 fluxes on climate in the Arctic. These Arctic measurement sites should help quantify the inter-annual variations and long-term trends in CH4 emissions in the Canadian Arctic.

Misa Ishizawa et al.
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Misa Ishizawa et al.
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Short summary
Canadian Arctic has the potential for enhanced methane (CH4) emissions under global warming. However, the regional CH4 emission (fluxes) estimates range widely. This study analyses recent Canadian Arctic CH4 observations and estimates the regional emissions. The additional observations yield robust CH4 flux estimates and enable the partitioning of the fluxes into wetland and forest fires. The estimated wetland emissions are correlated with surface temperature.
Canadian Arctic has the potential for enhanced methane (CH4) emissions under global warming. ...
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